The New Champion of Shazam! #2 Review

Writer: Josie Campbell
Art: Evan “Doc” Shaner
Letters: Becca Carey
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 6th, 2022

In The New Champion of Shazam! #2, Mary faces the dreaded bone-chilling horror of…Community College!   Mary’s plate is way too full.  She’s taking care of her siblings, trying to find her missing (possibly kidnapped) parents, and struggling with her first week at Fawcett Community College, also known as FCC.  Good old FCC has a huge science wing (actually just one classroom with a few test tubes in it), a state-of-the-art radio station (a keyboard and a microphone) and it hasn’t been cleaned in months.  Oh yeah, and Mary fights a rampaging monster tearing through the city too!

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the New Champion of Shazam! #2 Review.

The Story

After the last issue and Mary’s elation at leaving home to live a new life at a major college, The New Champion of Shazam! #2 finds Mary reluctantly heading back home after discovering her parents are missing. Despite the fact it’s a major setback for Mary and all her aspirations of being on her own have been shattered, there’s still an overall feeling of optimism and fun to the book, and it never succumbs to the hopeless darkness rampant in so many books these days.   There are so many great characters and action moments throughout the issue.

Mary, now home and reunited with her siblings, finds things much different now, even though she hasn’t been away too long.  She has some great interactions with each one of them.  There’s an especially warm moment with her younger sister Darla, who discovers Hoppy in Mary’s bag and, of course, wants to smother him with hugs and carrots, which Hoppy triumphantly accepts.  Mary also has a surprising encounter with her genius brother Eugene that does NOT go well.

You really feel bad for Mary, who’s now the acting parent of the family, a group of siblings who mostly dislike her and are jealous of her because she was chosen by Billy to carry on the power of Shazam.  Mary’s insecurities constantly set in and she wonders if it wasn’t a mistake that Billy picked her to carry on the Shazam mantle.  It makes her wonderfully grounded because haven’t all of us felt we weren’t good enough at some point?

Speaking of carrying on as Shazam, the issue isn’t all family drama, as Mary battles a dinosaur-sized monstrosity that looks like a giant alligator with leathery wings.  Three shadowy figures wearing glowing blue panels on their chests (which we got a glimpse of last issue) also appear and attack, pushing Mary to her limits as she fights them and their futuristic weaponry.   The odds are way against her and the fight feels realistic (as realistic as a superhero book can get). The mystery of the three shadowy characters will be an arc of the mini-series, and they’re a fascinating trio.  Enough clues are provided to where you can guess who they might be, but at this point, they could be anyone.  We shall see.

The Art

Evan “Doc” Shaner’s art on The New Champion of Shazam! #2 is once again amazing, simultaneously giving the book a Silver Age and modern feel. Mary, in both her normal and Mary Marvel form, looks natural, like any female in her late teens/early 20’s you’d see out and about in the real world.  It makes her instantly likable and relatable. Fawcett City, Fawcett Community College, and the other locations in the book also look retro, and in many scenes, the trees are colored with a mix of gold, brown, and green, making it feel like everything’s happening deep into the Autumn season.

The battle scenes are drawn with an epic feel.  When Mary first encounters the dinosaur-like beast rampaging in the streets, there’s a panel where her cape blows in the wind and she has her hands on her hips in a wonderfully heroic pose, and as the battle rages on, her costume gets dirtier and dirtier, which adds realism to the conflict.

Final Thoughts

The New Champion of Shazam! #2 is another fantastic issue of the mini-series that puts Mary through the wringer throughout but gives us some great action scenes and character moments.  Highly recommended.


Leave a Reply